Scars and sun: Basic care

The sun can worsen the appearance of scars and their development, making dark blemishes appear on the edges, increasing this undesirable aesthetic effect further. IML recommends some basic care, both for recent scars and older ones, to prevent them from worsening over the summer. If you would like personalised information of the most appropriate dermatology treatment for you, request a first free informative consultation with one of our expert physicians in Dermatology

Scar type identification

The first step in choosing the most effective method for treating scars consists of identifying the type of scar:

  • Hyperpigmented Scar: 
    Presents a darker colour than the rest of the skin, due to the melanin production activated in the inflammatory process of repair. It is typical of dark skins and superficial wounds.
  • Hypopigmented Scar: 
    This type of whitish scar is the result of a deep wound, where the skin does not produce melanin. These are more visible the darker the skin.
  • Atrophic Scar: 
    Manifests as a depression in comparison to the surrounding skin. It is produced follow high tissue destruction, when the regeneration process cannot fill the hollow. Atrophic scars are typical sequelas of acne. Atrophic scar Atrophic scar
  • Hypertrophic Scar: 
    A scar that appears in relief over the surrounding skin, in the area of the wound. It is caused by excess collagen, elastin and fibroblast formation in the presence of tissue repair stimulus. These are common in black skins and patients with a family history.
  • Keloids: 
    These differ from hypertrophic scars in that the relief occupies a larger area than the wound that caused it, in people with a predisposition or in locations prone to this condition, such as the skin area of the Superior Vena Cava.

Care recommendations for recent scars

  1. Encourage regeneration
    To stimulate and accelerate cell regeneration, products containing musk rose, centella asiatica and/or hyaluronic acid should be applied.
  2. Caring for scar quality
    If the slightest evidence of swelling is perceived, pressotherapy treatment with silicone sheeting is recommended, which should be left on for 24 hours a day, even when swimming or at the beach.
  3. Solar protection
    Exposure to the sun is advised against, as it can cause hyperpigmentation around the edges of the scar. Instituto Medico Laser recommends applying SPF 50+ sunscreen every 60 minutes.
  4. Water protection
    If the wound is still open, it should not be submerged in water. However, is the wound has closed, we can bathe in the sea or pool, remembering to re-apply sunscreen afterwards.
  5. Caution when practising sport

    Before practising extreme sports, such as water skiing or kitesurfing, wait at least four weeks after removal of the stitches and always protect the area to prevent aggressions or blows.

Sunscreen on the scar

Sunscreen on the scar

Care recommendations for older scars

  • The contrast between the white colour of hypopigmented scars and the skin will be greater the more tanned it is.
  • Scars caused by burns present highly damaged tissue that is more susceptible to aggressive skin cancer. This type of scar, as in the area of the Superior Vena Cava, should never the exposed to the sun without using high sunscreen.

Would you like more information about scars treatment? Contact Instituto Medico Laser now.

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